Thursday, April 15, 2010

Just call me Sister Mary Tanqueray...

We haven’t had a New York City geography lesson in a while. Luckily (just go with me on that one), this story requires a bit of one, so put on your visualizing caps and start thinking big city thoughts. (If you don’t care and just want the point of why I’m telling you this, skip down to the *)

I’m sure y’all know that NY works on a grid system. The Psychology building a Big Pretentious University is located at what is not called, but could be approximately described as 5th street and Broadway, which is between 4th and 5th Avenues. I take the train out of Penn Station, which is located at 34th street and 7th Avenue. The subway stop I have to walk to in order to get from Big Pretentious University to Penn Station is at 3rd street and 6th Avenue.

Google Maps estimates the walk to the subway at just under half a mile. My iPhone estimates the subway ride uptown at approximately 7 minutes. Time between trains is usually about 5 minutes at the hour that is relevant to this story.

*Now, my Monday class lets out at 8:10 and my train home is at about 8:30. This means that after class, in order not to miss el tren, I need to haul patoot.

Cue this past Monday. I am doing just that, hauling patoot through Penn Station. Amidst my bobbing and weaving through tourists and folks who are not in a hurry and think that the top of the stairs is an excellent place to hold a conversation (it is not, numnuts!), I spy something that warms the very cockles of my heart. There is an elderly nun thoroughly engaged in a conversation with a homeless woman.

I personally have the utmost respect for nuns. When I was small, Dahling used to send me to a summer camp run by Silesian Sisters and it really left an impression on me. For a while I even thought it would be splendid idea to become a nun.

It was this long abandoned life goal that I began to reflect on when I passed the Sister on Monday. I would clearly make a terrible nun. I am fantastically vicious (in the having vice sense, not the mean-nasty sense). Was my life a huge wrong turn from a once noble goal? How could I be sure? Had I somehow made a terrible mistake?

And then, as if a sign from above, a young woman in a yellow shawl caught my arm as I rushed by her.

I stopped, half out of confusion and half because I thought she needed directions to the subway.

“Do you know about God?” she asked.

“Yeah go down thos…oh, God?” I held up my crucifix necklace. “Yeah, we’re aquainted.”

“But have you heard of the mother god in Genesis?”

“I really need to catch my train. Bye.” And I rushed off.

Sign received.

…the secular life suits me just fine.


  1. I was preached to about the Mother of God or God Mother or something too. On campus. At 10.30p. In a creepy, low-lit area. By three Asian men who I could hardly understand. For some reason, I stopped and pretended to be interested, and then said if he gave me contact information, I'd come to a meeting.

    His business card was pastel colors, with kittens.

  2. All the most legit religious organizations have kitten business cards.

  3. I don't know how you deal with all of those crazies in NY. But I'm still kinda jealous!